During most of the review period, direct selling managed to see rising sales in Finland. A reason for this was the economic problems Finland suffered.
Direct selling has never been and is never expected to be a major retail channel in Finland, with its significance relatively low even in the product categories in which it is strongest. In categories such as beauty and personal care, direct selling keeps on losing out to internet retailing and store-based channels such as department stores and beauty specialist retailers.
Whilst the forecast for the channel is less than shiny, this does not mean individual companies or product categories will necessarily face decline. Many consumers enjoy hearing about launches from people they know and trust and prefer merging socialising and shopping in a way which is impossible in impersonal stores.
In 2018, direct selling continued to be dominated on the one hand by well-known, long-established and globally widespread direct selling giants, often of US or Scandinavian origin, such as Tupperware, Oriflame and Avon. On the other hand, the channel remains fragmented, with a significant share of sales accounted for by lesser-known companies which have not been established for as long and have more fluctuating concepts.
In 2018, direct selling remained a retail channel in which the gender split of sales agents and customers was uneven. According to the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), the share of women amongst independent representatives in Finland in 2017 – the last year available at the time of research – was 86%.
A growing trend in direct selling in Finland is companies adding a fundraising aspect to sales – collecting money for school trips or junior sports teams. This model is expected to thrive rather than fade away in the forecast period.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.